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Zookeys. 2013 Jan 14;(258):1-15. doi: 10.3897/zookeys.258.4260. Print 2013.

Ovicides paralithodis (Nemertea, Carcinonemertidae), a new species of symbiotic egg predator of the red king crab Paralithodes camtschaticus (Tilesius, 1815) (Decapoda, Anomura).

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Faculty of Science, Hokkaido University, Sapporo 060-0810, Japan.


Ovicides paralithodis sp. n. is described from the egg mass of the red king crab Paralithodes camtschaticus (Tilesius, 1815) from the Sea of Okhotsk, off Hokkaido, Japan, and Alaska, USA. Among four congeners, Ovicides paralithodis can be distinguished from Ovicides julieae Shields, 2001 and Ovicides davidi Shields and Segonzac, 2007 by having no eyes; from Ovicides jonesi Shields and Segonzac, 2007 by the presence of basophilic, vacuolated glandular lobes in the precerebral region; and from Ovicides jasoni Shields and Segonzac, 2007 by the arrangement of the acidophilic submuscular glands, which are not arranged in a row. Ovicides paralithodis represents the third described species of egg-predatory nemertean from Paralithodes camtschaticus, the second described carcinonemertid species from Japan, and the 21st described species in the family. The intensity of infestations may exceed 24,000 worms per a single egg-bearing pleopod of Paralithodes camtschaticus. A preliminary molecular phylogenetic analysis based on sequences of 28S rRNA and cytochrome c oxidase subunit I genes among selected monostiliferous hoplonemertean species supported the monophyly of Carcinonemertidae, suggesting that within the lineage of the family, evolution of the unique vas deferens, Takakura's duct, preceded loss of accessory stylets and accessory-stylet pouches.


Crustacea; Nemertini; Paralithodes camtschatica; egg predator; symbiont

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